The Ultimate Guide to Nano Aquarium Tanks

Nano tanks have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is an understandable trend because many people are interested in keeping aquarium fish, but they do not have the space for a large aquarium tank. However, most people do have enough space for a nano tank, even in their small apartment or office. A nano aquarium setup does not take much space, and it can fit into almost any room.

While some people may assume that the type of fish you can keep in a nano tank is limited, this is not true at all. There are many types of fish you can keep in a nano aquarium successfully. Today, there are so many different species of fish that is available in the aquarium fish trade.

If you want to know what type of fish you can keep in a nano tank, check out the Guide to Nano Aquarium Fish.

In addition, nano tanks are perfect for shrimp and other invertebrates as well. When you start considering these different options, the possibilities of a nano tank becomes endless. In fact, even the design of a nano tank can be aquascaped to make it look like a vast underwater world.

Nano Aquarium Tank

What is Considered a Nano Tank in Terms of Size?

Nano aquariums are small tanks, approximately 30 gallons or smaller. They house fish and invertebrates that thrive in these smaller environments. Since the aquarium tank is smaller, all of the related components are designed for a smaller system. This includes the nano aquarium light, nano aquarium filter, nano aquarium heater, and nano aquarium stand.

While nano aquarium tanks usually refers to tanks 30 gallons or smaller, the definition and use of the term can vary. In fact, the term “nano aquarium” and “nano tank” does not actually specify the exact size or capacity of the aquarium tank. It simply refers to a small aquarium tank.

In the freshwater aquarium community, the term nano tank is most often used to describe smaller tanks ranging from 5 to 20 gallons.

In the saltwater aquarium community, the term nano tank is most often used to describe tanks ranging from 10 to 30 gallons. However, it is not uncommon to see a 40 gallon reef tank being described as a nano tank as well.

What is the Best Nano Aquarium Tank?

The best nano aquarium may not be the same for everyone. It is important to understand what you are looking for in an aquarium first.

Before purchasing your aquarium, consider the following:

  • What size of tank do I need?
  • What type of fish will I be keeping?
  • How much time can I allocate to maintenance?

In order to cover a few of the bases we will look at a variety of tanks in this article from nano cube aquariums to rimless tanks and list some characteristics for each.

MarineLand 5 Gallon Nano Aquarium

The Marineland 5 Gallon Nano Aquarium is a great tank with a sleek design. It has a vertical design, so it has a smaller footprint than most other 5 gallon tanks. The vertical design allows you to grow taller aquarium plants as well. The top of the aquarium has a sliding glass canopy, which allow you easy access for feeding and maintenance. This aquarium comes with a LED lighting system and a hidden filtration system.


  • Small Footprint
  • LED Light Included
  • Hidden Filtration Included

The Fluval Spec V 5 Gallon Nano Tank

The Fluval Spec V is another 5 gallon aquarium tank. This aquarium has a contemporary design with etched glass and aluminium trim. It will be a great addition to a small space such as an office or apartment. It has a great built in lighting and filtration system. The lighting system with 37 powerful LED lamps is definitely a stand out feature on this aquarium.


  • Great lighting system
  • Built in Filtration System
  • Sleek Design

Tetra ColorFusion 20 Gallon Aquarium Tank

The Tetra ColorFusion Aquarium is a great 20 gallon aquarium. The 20 gallon capacity allows you to stock more fish than other smaller sized nano tanks. The types of fish species you can keep in this tank increases as well. The standard fool proof design of this aquarium makes this aquarium a good choice.

In addition, this aquarium kit comes with the added bonus of a transforming LED light. Each time you change the color, you can give your aquarium a completely different look.


  • Color Transforming LED Light
  • Includes Tetra Whisper 20 Filter
  • Includes UL Heater

Penn-Plax Water-World Vertex 10 Gallon Desktop Aquarium

The Penn-Plax Water-World is an awesome rimless 10 gallon aquarium tank. The rimless design makes this tank stand out, even though it is a small tank. In fact, besides the standard 10 gallon aquarium, it is also available as 5 gallon aquarium or a 2.5 gallon aquarium.

The aquarium is sold as a kit, and it includes a hinged lid, hang on power filter, aquarium thermometer, and aquarium net.


  • Rimless Aquarium Tank
  • Accessories included
  • Curved corner for unobstructed view

Other Rimless Nano Aquariums

Rimless aquariums are absolutely beautiful. The frameless design makes the tank stand out, especially when it is paired with the right aquascape and lighting system.

However, some people question the safety and durability of these tanks, since it lacks the support on the edge of the tanks. Fortunately, in terms of durability, nano aquariums are advantageous because it does not have to support the weight of a large tank with hundreds of gallons of water. Of course, precautions should be taken in order to ensure safely. Placing the rimless tank on a level surface is important. Placing the tank on top of an aquarium mat is recommended as well. This will smooth out the small irregularities on the surface. Lastly, the aquarium glass and the construction should be of high quality. Therefore, a good manufacturer is important.

ADA manufactures one of the best rimless aquarium tanks in the hobby. ADA Cube Garden is manufactured with German heat resistant glass, and it absolutely beautiful. These are show quality aquariums. However, since it is not widely available in the U.S. we did not include it in this review.

Popularity of Nano Aquariums

Thanks to the increase in popularity of nano tanks in recent years, there’s a lot of different options you can choose from. Since there’s a lot of options, you can find the perfect nano tank that suits you and your fishes’ needs.

However, new fish keepers should be warned about nano tanks as well. These small aquariums are not necessarily easier to keep than their larger counterparts. Nano tanks are able to hold less water volume, which means they are more susceptible to fluctuations in their water parameters. Therefore, they will require more careful monitoring and more frequent maintenance. Most nano aquariums require weekly water changes. Of course, the maintenance will be quick in a small nano aquarium, but more frequent maintenance will be required compared to a larger aquarium.

You should also consider the fact that smaller bodies of water are more susceptible to temperature change. For this reason, placement of your tank should also be considered carefully. Avoid placing them near heaters or in drafts.

The effort you put into a nano tank is worth it though. A small tank placed on your desktop can provide the peace and relaxation that you need throughout the day. It’s a great way to reduce your stress levels. It’s as if you invited a small piece of underwater world into your indoor space.